Getting in shape after having kids is a goal for many new moms (and those with a few kids already!) While it can be challenging to find enough time in a day to get everything done it is possible to get in shape after having kids if you make it a priority. A healthy mom is a happy mom! Taking an hour (or less) a few days a week to workout will make your stress and anxiety lower, which will probably make you happier and more patient. Regular exercise has numerous health benefits including weight loss and longevity. Taking a few hours a week now can give you a few extra years to spend with your kids. Doesn't that alone make it worth it?
Motherhood is a beautiful, challenging, uplifting, tiring, and wondrous thing. I feel like I spent half the day yesterday just looking at my son. At almost 8 months old I'm seeing just how quickly the first year flies by and I want to savor every moment I can. At the same time I still want to prioritize my health. Squeezing in workouts while being a work-at-home mom isn't always easy, but it's always worth it!
I asked some of my favorite fit moms for their advice on how to juggle motherhood and fitness. I learned a few tricks myself I can't wait to put into practice!
When I only had my first two kiddos and wanted to run on the treadmill, I filled the pack and play with balls and made it a ball pit! I usually could get 25 minutes out of them being entertained! Now, I'm six weeks postpartum with my third kiddo and stay home with all three boys, so I'll let you know how that goes soon. - Katie
I use the sworkit app on my phone or use a YouTube video and just work out in my living room! I turn on music and my 16 month old dances around and tries to imitate some of the exercises I do. It's actually a lot of fun for both of us! - Krista
I wake up before my little one to workout, right in the living room, using a YouTube channel I follow. He has preschool two days a week and on those days I run. Some days life happens and I do workouts at nap or right there with him and he finds it entertaining. My husband is gone from 5am-6-8pm during the week (6 on a rare ocassion). It's tough as a SAHM/WAHM to get it all done. You have to be committed to transform your goals into reality. Make time when there is none. Do what needs to be done even if you don't want to. Motivation comes from within. If it's important you'll find a way, if not you'll find an excuse. - Brianna
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It takes the entire family to be on board and be a support system. If I didn't have my husband supporting me through it all, there's no way I could do half the things I do for myself. I'm a SAHM so I wake up before anyone else is awake, get my run in, get in the shower. My husband does breakfast with the kids and then I'm on. I blog, write training plans, and do yoga during the day while my daughter naps. All three of those don't happen on the same day because she doesn't nap that long. And after my husband gets home from work and we eat dinner, I finish up whatever I couldn't get to during the day. It's exhausting! I hope that helps. - Rachel
I will run to the daycare with a empty stroller to pick kids up or get up before everyone else in the house gets up to run! - Kristen
I workout early morning or I now teach 3 days a week at a local gym and use the childcare there. I struggled with mom guilt about leaving them there but it is 1-2 hours a day that they LOVE playing with other kids and it makes me such a better mom! On the non gym days at home DVD programs are my favorites! - Sarah
I go to the gym 5 days a week and take turns taking care of the kids with my husband. Luckily, our gym has a wonderful kid's club and they love to go there. Some days I will go in the morning and some days it's at night. On the nights, I will prepare dinner early to make sure that my husband and kids are fed. It's a balancing act for sure, but when you have a supportive husband and kids it makes it all a little easier. - Amanda
Now I workout early morning or while daughter at dance. I used to literally run errands with her in the BOB! It takes making it a priority. I plan meals and prep with family on weekends. - Jen
As a full time career mom who also runs a swim team, I have to strategically fit in my workouts. My life is a color coded calendar! My husband is a great support system. He works from home so when my daughter was an infant/toddler, he was always with her all day while I kept the career I love. In order to give him the break, I always included her with my workouts. I would push her in the stroller while I walked or ran. If I wanted to swim or take a class or workout in the gym, I put her in child watch (a great benefit at a gym to begin allowing our children to learn socialization skills). As she got older, she started being involved in multiple sports. While she's at travel soccer, swim team, triathlon or track, I get my workout in depending on the location were at - bike, run, swim or body pump/HIIT. I've adapted my own schedule to be able to fit in to my life. Just as her father and I go to her practices and get our workouts in during them, she goes with us to our running club and hangs with us while we get our sports in. If she doesn't feel like running, we throw her bike on the rack and she rides alongside me while I run. It's a family affair and it sets an early example to stay active doing what you love. - Cassandra
I use my lunch hour at work to workout. - Lucie
I get up at 4:00am to run 3x's a week and then I do strength training/yoga during nap times 3-4 x's depending on our outings and play date schedules. The early mornings are tough but they are totally worth it to have a good run/workout on my own. - Haley
Our gym has childcare so I schedule workouts when she can go there, or I run with her in the jogging stroller. I would say planning ahead for healthy eating is key to not grabbing unhealthy snacks when I am hungry! - Heather
When my first was born I would literally workout with him in a baby pack, and as he grew and another baby was born I would do home videos, long walks/run with them in the stroller etc. I also used our gym kids club until they were too old, then they had a membership for a while too, and now we have a home gym that is accessible. I used to hike with them when they were little and still do now! As for eating, they have always been pretty good eaters, the love veggies more than me so it's always pretty easy to eat clean! - Tina
I have 4 kids ages 2-8. Over the years I have found that I just HAVE to prioritize it -- it makes me a better mom, wife, person! I get up early or stay up late, and use nap time very wisely. My older girls know nothing else than mom working out randomly or taking everyone outside to get in a quick jog around the yard or yoga session. Food is not something I waiver on at all, I just make it work. I don't watch tv/netflix/hulu, etc. It's all about priorities and cutting out the unnecessary! - Kelsey
My tips? I say it all the time but FOOD PREP! Make 1-2 big meals on the weekend you can reheat for leftovers (veggie packed soups or casseroles are good choices) and prep healthy snacks like hard boiled eggs. Don't buy junk food. If it's not in the house you won't eat it. Finally, if you need to workout that day make that your priority and get it done before you do anything else. Get a routine/schedule set up (as much as possible, I know it's not always easy with little ones!) and pretty soon working out will be a habit and something you look forward to! If you need help losing weight my next 6 week boot camp starts May 9th! Spots are filling up fast so be sure to register asap.
What is your biggest challenge to balancing motherhood and fitness?